As an entrepreneur, it can be extremely difficult to have an objective perspective on your own business. After all, most leaders believe deeply in their organization’s mission. It’s only natural to see everything through rose-colored glasses. Since you are also the leader of your organization, it can be especially tough to get honest criticism from your team. Here is a look at how to see things for how they really are.
Tips for Having an Objective Perspective on Your Own Business
- Reward honesty and transparency: It doesn’t matter if you ask your team for honest criticism and feedback if you ignore or punish anyone who shares an idea you didn’t want to hear. Everyone has to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts without fear of pettiness or defensiveness. When you have spent a large portion of your life on a business, accepting criticism is much harder than you might anticipate. It is worth it, however. Reward your team for finding flaws, and you will be on your way. The next step is to make sure the advice gets heard.
- Develop processes to handle criticism: With all the monotony of running a business, it’s easy to receive objective feedback repeatedly and then brush it under the rug. Have a formalized process of implementing suggestions and adjusting your behavior based on good input from you team. Even if you don’t agree with the criticism, you should at least schedule time to experiment with the new idea. This will force you to evaluate dissenting ideas, rather than dismissing them. This will help you break out of the echo chamber of your own perspective.
- Provide honest feedback to others: It’s easy for an open and honest culture to exist strictly in the abstract. To get your team to start getting used to the idea, you may have to lead by example. Don’t make people feel like you are putting them on the spot, but demonstrate that it’s ok to provide feedback. Let people know that when you criticize them it is by no means a sign that they are not performing well. If you demonstrate how to engage in polite and constructive criticism, your team is more likely to reciprocate. Just remember to be diplomatic, or this could backfire.
While it’s good to have a faith in your mission, you can’t lose touch with reality. Hopefully, these tips will help you work with your team to figure out the truth about areas where you still have room for improvement.